GNO, Inc. 2019 State Legislative Priorities

State

  • Reform for Louisiana’s Future Legislative Package – Promulgate Top Ten key reforms, especially to legislative and gubernatorial candidates (gnoinc.org/reform):
    1. Tax Structure – Lower and flatten personal income taxes by a) eliminating the state deduction for federal taxes; (b) capping excess itemized at 50% (revenue neutral)
    2. State Structure – Constitutional Convention for reform; devolve power to parishes
    3. Economic Development – Protect and promote a positive business environment, in both perception and reality
    4. Education – See below
    5. Workforce – Support “demand-driven” programs, like GNOu
    6. Infrastructure – Support State Gas Tax and Federal infrastructure dollars; leverage Opportunity Zones and Asset Recycling
    7. Litigation Environment – Establish a Louisiana Business Court, like 23 other states
    8. Coastal Restoration – Support Coastal Master Plan and protect funding
    9. Pension Reform – Move to a hybrid defined contribution / benefit system
    10. Criminal Justice – Ensure reforms are paired with community reinvestment
  • Economic Development – Generally, defend incentives that create permanent jobs, and enable us to remain competitive regionally and nationally. Specifically: promote improvements to the Research & Development Tax Credit to return refundable or transferable component and restore to 40% for participants w/under 50 employees; extend 2021 sunset of Angel Investor Tax Credit to 2025 (change payout to 3 years instead of 5)
  • ITEP Streamline and standardize local ITEP evaluation to increase predictability and decrease interparish cannibalization
  • Infrastructure – Support increase to gas tax, with revenue for specific projects across state
  • Opportunity Zones – Develop legislation to encourage investment in highest-needed zones, work in coordination with org; reauthorize complimentary Historic Tax Credits
  • Sales Tax – Create centralized sales tax collection to end the practice of retailers paying local sales taxes in each parish [Rep. Magee]; Define “marketplace facilitators who serve as third-party platforms for online vendors – and establish a framework for their collection
  • Local Autonomy – Allow local governments, with voter approval, to lower homestead exemption [HB 12 by Rep. Carter]
  • Legal Reform – Establishment of a Business Court, like 23 other states (most recent Georgia); Support legal reform package including lowering jury trial threshold [Rep. Talbot]
  • Education
    • Higher Ed – Support for greater autonomy (curricula, tuition, admission)
    • K-12 – Support for JumpStart, and other “career pipeline” programs
    • Early Childhood – Prioritize funding for Child Care Assistance Program which provides birth-age 3 education; estimated need of $85 million initial investment
  • Criminal Justice – Assurance that savings from reforms are reinvested in support programs
  • Coastal Restoration – Support for the Annual Master Plan and the projects therein, as well as protecting coastal dollars for their intended uses

Federal

  • National Flood Insurance Program – Relaunch of Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, with goal of long-term reauthorization of NFIP. Key reforms to be implemented include:
    • Affordability: Preserve grandfathering; establish additional affordability measures including across the board premium reductions
    • Risk-rating: Adopt innovations in elevation science to radically improve mapping and precision, including use of LIDAR data
    • Mitigation: Increase ICC, invest more heavily in pre-disaster hazard mitigation priorities
    • Participation: Allow for automatic renewals, multi-year policies, and monthly premium payments
  • Infrastructure Funding – GNO, Inc. supports a federal infrastructure package that would provide funding for regional infrastructure needs. To fund this package, GNO, Inc. supports an increase in the federal gas tax. Priorities include:
    • Improved federal infrastructure for drainage, including Sewerage and Water Board
    • Improvements to and around the Port of New Orleans
    • Improvements to and around the Port of Louisiana
    • Regional road improvements (e.g. widening of I-12, I-10)
    • Regional bridge improvements
    • Funding for mass transportation systems (NOLA-MSY)
    • Natural infrastructure solutions that will enhance community resilience
  • Coastal Restoration – GNO, Inc. supports the following policies that would expedite and provide additional funding for coastal restoration:
    • Continue to achieve permitting efficiencies for large-scale restoration projects; ensure federal agencies continue to coordinate and work with state
    • Ensure stable leadership within the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) and adherence to RESTORE Act’s directives
    • Ensure GOMESA funding is fully protected, and support removal of the GOMESA cap
    • Allow for Louisiana to receive credit against HSDRRS debts for coastal restoration investments
    • Seek forgiveness of the interest payments the State owes on the HSDRRS system
  • NASA / Michoud – Ensure Space Launch System (SLS) funding, which will be manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility; and permanent replacement of the National Finance Center
  • Greater New Orleans Military Assets – Continue to support and advocate funding for GNO’s regional military assets, including Belle Chasse Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base
  • Federal Agencies – Support reauthorization of Economic Development Authority (EDA); continue to build key relationships for purposes of policy and funding goals